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Reflecting is very important so that I can process and remember my experience. There are many things that I learned concerning Brazilian culture. Capoeira is a combination of dance and fight. It was used as a form of self-defense for enslaved Africans during the time on slavery. This knowledge of the history and background and significance of the moves made our encounter with Capoeira more valuable as we learned some moves during the workshop and as we watched the kids play it.
Because Capoeira is now used only as an art form and not a self-defense mechanism, it would be interesting in the future to see if Capoeira ever changes significantly throughout time. It was interesting to play the African instruments. I have never played them before. I particularly liked the shakers. They are so simple, yet can make complex sounds. The visit to the Remanso community Quilombo, was also very valuable. It was great to learn about the strong communities that runway slaves created.
I love hearing stories of resistance against oppression, we do not hear resistance stories often enough. It was great to hear from the brother and sister that spoke to us about their personal life-stories. I will compare one of these activities to my culture, I am Kenyan. I will comment concerning the visit when we met Goya Lopes who talked to us about Afro-Brazilian fashion.
It was very interesting to see the whole process of cloth-making, but one of the most enjoyable aspects of this event was seeing the final product after everything was put together. I have many African clothing but until then I had not had the chance to see how the process of putting the African prints onto the fabric works. This was a good opportunity for me. The process begins with an artist dreaming up an Africa-inspired print design.
Then the artist draws the print design on paper. Then that drawing is transferred to digital form on a computer making it possible for the design to be reproduced multiple times and in desired sizes. Then another machine I am not sure of the name is used to copy the digitized image onto a nylon-saturated-screen which is then sprayed with water to clean off part that are not part of the design. The next step is for two individuals to put paint over the screen which is placed over the fabric copying the design onto the fabric.